#Change11 What do participants of MOOC want?

Jon posted in And so it ends:

I’m not the first to observe that a big problem with connectivist-influenced MOOCs like this is that they are, well, chaotic and lacking in centre. People are contributing all over the place in a hundred different ways and certainly not in an orderly fashion.

We wound up talking quite a bit about balance this week – reaching that Goldilocks spot that is not too hard and not too soft in not just our technologies but the whole system of which technologies are a part.

What might be the not too hard and not too soft in MOOC?

What do participants of MOOC really want?

Have you watched King Arthur?

My relative forwarded me this extraordinary story about King Arthur.

Here The story begins:

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur’s youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?….What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better  than death, he accepted the monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she  would have the answer.

But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout  the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but  to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of  the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur’s closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises,  etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all  his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot,  learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.

He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur’s life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur’s            question thus:

What a woman really wants, she answered….is to be in charge  of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur’s life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding..

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would  henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day….or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

What Lancelot chose is below.

BUT….make YOUR choice before you scroll down below.


Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice  herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Now….what is the moral to this story?

The moral is…..

If you don’t let a woman have her own way….

Things are going to get ugly

Back to the question: What do participants of Change11 MOOC want?

I can’t speak on behalf of others.  For me, what I want is to be in charge of my own life, and my own learning.

Would this be the wants of MOOCers?  There are more wants…..What would you say?


16 thoughts on “#Change11 What do participants of MOOC want?

  1. Pingback: #Change11 What do participants of MOOC want? | Connectivism and Networked Learning | Scoop.it

  2. Good choice, good story, but extraordinary in how incorrect (dang those film folk opting for easy but inaccurate flash). Does the lesson therein justify a possibly deliberate error?

    The best known is Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale. It’s not so Arthur-centric, richer and more complex, but still not the only or even among the earliest versions. The “loathly lady” motif shows up in other Grail literature but goes back to earlier medieval tales, primarily Celtic but some Germanic.

    The free choice moral is particularly relevant since many versions involve rape. Not just about letting someone have choice but not being forced. Germanic versions are more about revenge (if you really want to talk about getting ugly) than learning a lesson.

    Incidentally, “year and a day” is a motif in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

  3. Hi John, oh dear dangerous ground re what wo/men want 😉 Great story and application to Moocs, finding the balance between knowing that you want to be in charge of your own learning then working out what you want or don’t want.

  4. My husband is 60 so we just attended our 2nd pre-retirement seminary (they are scheduled at 5 year intervals) The Bishop said that clergy either die while being rector of a parish or they live forever. When you are told that statistically you probably have 30 more productive years, it feels like being 18 again and a re-opening of the “what do I want to do when I grow up” questions. Changes in education delivery and technology are extremely important when making long-range plans for all those years after 60. Technology has had as great an impact on the boomer generation as on Gen Y because the medical advances have extended years of health and it has made much of life less physically demanding.

  5. Just an aside but they’ve been running a series on BBC1 over the last couple of years – Merlin which incidentally had a Lancelot story in it last night where the witch brought him back from the dead to enchant Guinevere and Arthur finds them together and tells Guinevere to leave Camelot and never return.

    Its interesting growing up in the UK and learning about the history of King Arthur legends and the Round Table another symbol for some of the behaviour in Moocs – with equal status for learning?

  6. Hi Nicola,
    Thanks for the rich resources. Good to reflect on the symbols for some of the behaviors in MOOCs. Some as “bravehearts”, diehards, crusades. etc. Would each of the participants be playing the various roles of stage and spectators?

  7. Pingback: #Change11 What do participants of MOOC want? | EpCoP Massive open online course | Scoop.it

  8. Pingback: #Change11 A reflection on MOOC | Learner Weblog

  9. Hi John, yes I think so. Trying to imagine what my niece (aged 6) would think as she has started to read some stories and is very into tales and magic – as they (her and nephew) role play these parts where everything can be magic, maybe a learning network full of these characters could be fun – although the text communication would be difficult and the characters would probably need to be shown in a more obvious way. Maybe you could do this with young children using technologies as part of their learning, possibly slighter older than niece and nephew – you could base a whole theme for a few weeks as that – outline a story and some characters – they choose and off they go. I don’t know if they would get bored of it continually though, it would need some facilitated development and possibly input from other classes and teachers in the schools involved to keep the overall theme story alive.

    I don’t think as adults its that much different – people take on these roles. I don’t know in moocs yet – kind of, but with connected webs, villains become heros and vice versa in seconds due to interpretations by others – in your paper this describes rich learning experiences:
    “In this sense, the MOOC allows a new model of learning based on adaptive responses to both discursive and active feedback from facilitators and participants, with the potential for engagement in a continual flow of dialogue and exchange and for reflective action on the part of the learner”
    How much the mooc dialogue flows into other aspects of their lives and back again is also interesting, as in exploring how new insights / interpretations form.

  10. Pingback: GT MOOC Week 12: Advanced Learning Strategies with Clark Aldrich | The Georgia Tech MOOC

  11. Hi Nicola,
    Wonderful reflection. “How much the mooc dialogue flows into other aspects of their lives and back again is also interesting, as in exploring how new insights / interpretations form.” This may be the value that is difficult to measure or evaluate, but unique with Connectivism and MOOC way of learning. It goes as a way of life, and may be underpinning the concept that everything is connected to everything else – including those new ideas, insights, interpretations formed, and thus are emerging.

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